Finance Globe

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FTC Refunds Nearly $1 Million to Victims of Telemarketing Scheme

Refunds will be sent this week to consumers who were swindled by a telemarketing scam that promised “free” goods and services such as gift cards, gas cards, and resort vacations, the Federal Trade Commission reported on Thursday.

Consumers who were victimized by the alleged scam were misled into thinking the caller was from the consumers’ own credit card issuer or a major retailer, and then billed for goods and services they never agreed to.

When consumers didn’t understand the sales pitch - which was often quickly read and worded in a confusing manner - Sure Touch telemarketers promised they would not be billed. Consumers had no reason to suspect otherwise because they did not provide any of their billing information to the telemarketer. .

However, unbeknownst to the consumer, Sure Touch had already accessed their billing information and charged their credit cards or debited their bank accounts to pay for the “additional” goods or services without ever sending the “free” goods and services promised in the sales pitch.

The FTC advises consumers who receive these refund checks, issued by Epiq Systems Inc., a refund administrator working for the FTC, to cash them within 60 days of the issue date, after which they become void. In all, 138,737 refund checks totaling more than $978,000 will be mailed to victims of the scheme.

This is just one of 180 cases brought as part of “Operation Tele-PHONEY,” the largest telemarketing fraud law enforcement sweep ever conducted by the FTC.

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Wednesday, 08 February 2023

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